The news is clear – the coronavirus is bad for everyone but it is horrible for seniors. Now is the time to act if you or a loved one fall into the 60+ age range and live in senior living housing.
Staying Safe In Senior Living
- Stay Home. Seriously, if at all possible, don’t go out. That’s the number one way to avoid people with the virus, assuming that everyone in your apartment is virus-free. Reschedule doctors’ appointments if possible, order groceries online, watch church over the internet, etc. Stay in your apartment and avoid large groups of residents. Ask your Activity Directors to create activities that can be done separately, like a trivia worksheet that can be judged or an essay contest, etc.
- Establish Visitation Rules– You have a right to ask questions about the people coming into your home. Have they traveled recently, are they feeling sick, are they just coming home from a cruise?? If you allow someone in your house, have them leave their shoes at the door and wash their hands immediately. Ask that housekeeping reschedule, etc. Every person that walks through your door is a potential carrier.
- Eat In – If you live in a retirement community, dining is a big part of your monthly fee. Ask the dining crew to deliver the meals to your room. No matter what, stay away from the buffet!
- Keep It Clean – They keep saying it because it’s true – you must wash your hands! Think of all the things you touch in a community – the handrails, the elevator buttons, the bridge cards! Wash frequently and avoid touching your face.
- Ask The Community to Limit Visitors – Do you really need that piano player who works the senior living circuit? Is the children’s group from the local school a Must-See event? Have the pharmacy and delivery people drop things off at the front desk and not roam the building.
- Notify the Community – And of course, if you’re feeling sick, let the care professionals know immediately. Report any upper respiratory symptoms (including fever, cough, and shortness of breath).
Now is not the time to worry about how things look or if you’re being paranoid. Your health is the most important thing and must be guarded. Ask your community to communicate their plan before someone with the virus is found.